Jeffrey Epstein Maxwell Trial
Ghislaine Maxwell, left, sits at the defense table before the start of her trial with defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim on Thursday in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

The defense in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex trafficking trial rested its case Friday after the British socialite told Judge Alison Nathan she would not take the stand.

The decision came as Maxwell’s lawyers wrapped up their case in the high-profile trial that saw four accusers say Maxwell helped recruit and groom underage girls to be sexually abused by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and his roster of rich and powerful friends between 1994 and 2004.

Maxwell faces six criminal counts, including enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts. She has pleaded not guilty, and her defense team has argued that she's a scapegoat for the crimes Epstein, who died in August 2019 while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial, committed.


Here are key takeaways from Week Three.

Defense rests early

The defense rested its case Friday afternoon, much sooner than most legal analysts had predicted. The trial, which was supposed to last six weeks, largely wrapped up after just three. At one point, the defense team indicated it might call up to 35 witnesses. In the end, their entire case took two days. 

An ex-girlfriend of Epstein's and a former employee who viewed Maxwell as a mentor were among the whittled-down list of defense witnesses. 

Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday, which will be followed by Judge Alison Nathan charging the jury.

Not going to testify

Jeffrey Epstein Maxwell Trial
This courtroom sketch shows Ghislaine Maxwell, left, conferring with her defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim before the start of her sex abuse trial on Thursday in New York. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

Maxwell confirmed Friday afternoon that she would not be taking the stand in her own defense.

“Your honor, the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and so, there is no need for me to testify,” the 59-year-old told the judge.

There had been some courtroom buzz that she might, but her family told reporters last week that she was "too fragile." The family has long complained about Maxwell's "abusive" treatment at the New York detention center, even writing to Attorney General Merrick Garland and requesting that authorities stop using four-point restraints to shackle her hands, waist, and feet when she is moved from a holding cell to the courtroom. Family members have also asked the country's top prosecutor to make sure she receives a food pack and a bar of soap each day and be allowed to meet with her attorneys for at least 30 minutes a day before and after court.

At least one of her seven siblings has shown up to court every day to support her.

Miss Sweden 

Jeffrey Epstein Maxwell Trial
In this courtroom sketch, Eva Andersson Dubin, right, testifies as Judge Alison Nathan, left, listens on the bench during Ghislaine Maxwell's sex trafficking trial, Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Eva Andersson-Dubin, a former Miss Sweden who dated Epstein on-and-off from 1983 to the early 1990s, testified Friday that she felt comfortable having her own children, two daughters and a son, around Epstein and said they called him "Uncle F."

Andersson-Dubin, now 60, said she and Epstein remained friends after breaking up for good in 1994. She went on to marry billionaire hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin, with whom she had children. She is a New York physician and said her family often traveled on Epstein's private jet in the 1990s and vacationed with him.

The Dubins have denied knowing anything about Epstein's sexual misconduct, but they were publicly supportive of him when he was prosecuted and convicted on sex crimes in 2008.

Andersson-Dubin also told jurors she did not know "Jane," one of Epstein and Maxwell's accusers. Her testimony was a direct contraction to Jane's sworn testimony that she was just 14 when the much older couple started forcing her to give nude massages and participate in orgies.

Jane, one of four accusers who said Maxwell had taken part in the abuse, told the jury she had sexual encounters with women named Sophie, Eva, Emmy, Michelle, and Kelly and that the women would back up her claims. Anderson-Dubin's testimony seemed to undermine Jane's testimony.

No pseudonyms for defense witnesses 

Nathan on Thursday denied a request by the defense to allow witnesses to testify under assumed names despite allowing three of the four accusers testifying for the prosecution to do so.

Annie Farmer, Lara Pomerantz, Alison Nathan
In this courtroom sketch, Annie Farmer, far right, testifies on the witness stand during the Ghislaine Maxwell sex abuse trial on Friday in New York. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz is at far left, at the podium questioning Farmer. Judge Alison Nathan is on the bench, center. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

“The Defense’s primary contention is that some form of anonymity for its witnesses is justified by the same reasons that the Court permitted three alleged victims and two related government witnesses to testify under pseudonyms,” the federal judge wrote in a six-page opinion and order. “The Court disagrees with this basic premise and denies the Defense’s motion.”


Week Three was an abbreviated one as a scheduling conflict delaying testimony until Thursday. Closing arguments in the case are expected to begin Monday.

If convicted, the socialite could spend decades behind bars.